Kong: Skull Island (2017)

The 2017 film “Kong: Skull Island” filmed at a variety of locations around the world, including Australia, Vietnam and Hawaii.  Over at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, there are a couple interesting set pieces from the film.

First up is the bone graveyard.  These props made by the production were unfortunately not built to last.  As they remain exposed to the elements year round, they are slowly deteriorating.  The props will not likely be displayed in this manor long term, but for now they can be seen on the ranch’s movie tours.

kongskullisland1

LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

kongskullisland2

kongskullisland3

kongskullisland4

kongskullisland5

In the Jungle area of the ranch, there is one more location from the film; the site of the helicopter crash.

kongskullisland6

A few more bone props are stored in the prop building at the ranch.

kongskullisland7

If you’re a fan of filming locations and make it to Hawaii, Kuloa Ranch is an oasis, hosting dozens of memorable films.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, more than one of which are film related. We recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations that are only seen on that particular tour. The Hollywood tour, while cheaper, skips many locations around the ranch.

Triple Frontier (2019)

While much of J.C. Chandor’s 2019 heist film “Triple Frontier” is set in South America, it was mostly filmed in O’ahu, Hawaii, with a few scenes filmed in Colombia and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

Ben Affleck’s character is introduced unsuccessfully trying to sell a property to prospective buyers at Pae Ko Gardens in Kapolei.  As he exits, Oscar Isacc is outside waiting to speak with him.

triplefrontier1

LOCATION: 91-1040 Kaiau Ave, Kapolei, HI 96707

The two stand in the parking lot and talk.

triplefrontier2

Just a few blocks away is Ben Affleck’s house in the film, where he is only allowed in the garage.

triplefrontier3

LOCATION: 91-228 Pilipiliula Pl, Kapolei, HI 96707

The camera is mostly positioned inside the garage, looking out towards the neighboring houses across the street.

triplefrontier4

LOCATION: 91-229 / 91-225 Pilipiliula Pl, Kapolei, HI 96707

As Affleck drives his daughter to school, he stops by a convenience store.  The real building is currently a restaurant.

triplefrontier5

LOCATION: 91-775 Papipi Rd, Ewa Beach, HI 96706

He then drops his daughter off at school, which was filmed at Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School in Kaneohe.

triplefrontier6

LOCATION: 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

The freeway establishing shot in South America is actually the iconic Interstate H-3 in O’ahu, also known as the John A. Burns Freeway, which crosses east and west over the Southeast side of the island.  The freeway is known for it’s viaducts running alongside the lush Hawaiian landscape.  We could not replicate the aerial view seen in the film, but here is a view of the freeway from one of the nearby neighborhoods.

triplefrontier7

LOCATION: Interstate H-3, Kaneohe, HI 96744

This is the view actually driving the H-3.  Some visual effects were used in the film to add a small village near the road.

triplefrontier8

The house where the heist takes place was a composite of a couple different locations.  The main building is part of the historic Clarence H. Cooke Residence, which can be found on Old Pali Road in Honolulu.  It’s actually almost directly across the street from George Clooney’s house in “The Descendants.”  Unfortunately, the building seen in the film is not visible from the road.

The gate and surrounding jungle seen in the film were actually filmed at Kualoa Ranch (49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744).  Unfortunately, the area where the gate set was built was not identified on their movie tour.  Here is a view of the real gate to the Clarence H. Cooke Residence, which of course was never seen from this residential view in the film.

triplefrontier9

LOCATION: Clarence H. Cooke Residence, 3860 Old Pali Rd, Honolulu, HI 96817

The crew can be seen having drinks at this cottage, which sits near the the Moli’i Fishpond in Kailua.  The property is actually owned by Kualoa Ranch.  This cottage building can also be seen in the Bruce Willis film “Tears of the Sun.”  The surrounding buildings and pond have also been featured in many movies, such as “Jurassic World,” “50 First Dates,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Snatched,” “You, Me and Dupree” and TV show “Lost.”

This area, while private, can be seen as part of the Premier Movie Site Tour of Kualoa Ranch.  It’s worth mentioning that parts can also by seen by visiting the local shops near the pond, which rent their buildings from Kualoa Ranch. They offer tours of their own near the water for a small fee, but the Premier Movie Site Tour offered by the ranch is our recommended way to see it.

triplefrontier11

LOCATION: 49-243 Kuukama St, Kailua, HI 96734

The helicopter crash site was filmed on the main property of Kualoa Ranch.  Their tours do not go up close to the exact site, but they do pass nearby and offer a view in the distance.  A couple buildings from the film, seen on the left side, are still standing.  Countless productions have also filmed in this area, including the 1998 remake of “Mighty Joe Young,” “Windtalkers” and dozens more.

triplefrontier10

LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Jurassic World (2015)

In 2015’s “Jurassic World,” the story takes us back to Isla Nublar, the same fictional island from the original “Jurassic Park,” supposedly located off the coast of Costa Rica.  The locations are a composite of multiple places, including Louisiana and Hawaii.  Filming largely took place at Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu, where as the original film also shot, albeit to a lesser extent.

As the ferry takes the boys to the island, the establishing shot shows the majestic Nā Pali Coast on the North Shore of Kauaʻi.  There are a variety of ways to see the coast, including boat and helicopter tours.  Some areas can also be hiked.

jurassicworld1

LOCATION: Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

The escalators where the boys head to their room is on the island of O’ahu at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.  The same escalators were featured in the TV series “Lost.”

jurassicworld2

LOCATION: 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

The helicopter pad where Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is picked up is at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, where the original “Jurassic Park” also filmed scenes.  The pad set was initially kept after filming was completed, but eventually the ranch decided to remove it, as many helicopters travel the nearby air space and they had concerns one of them might confuse it for an actual landing pad.  Many of the locations around Kualoa Ranch have signs such as this posted, identifying which films shot where.

jurassicworld3

LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

The helicopter pad is featured in a number of scenes throughout the film.  Quite a bit of CGI was added, to include the buildings and train rail featured in the park.  In the distance is the Moli’i Fishpond, also part of the Kualoa Ranch property, which is featured in several other scenes in the film.

jurassicworld4

The Indominus rex paddock set was also built on Kualoa Ranch, which does still stand.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, more than one of which are film related. We recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from this and other films that are only seen on that particular tour.  The Hollywood tour, while cheaper, skips many locations on the ranch.

jurassicworld5

Here is the interior of the deck overlooking the Indominus Rex paddock.

jurassicworld6

A view of the deck from the exterior.

jurassicworld7

In a later scene, Claire brings Owen, played by Chris Pratt, to the paddock, where they initially believe the Indominus rex may have escaped.  The claw marks Owen points out are still there.

jurassicworld10

The Moli’i Fishpond is where the giant mosasaurus emerges from the water and eats the shark.  Quite a bit of CGI was added to the scene.  The Moli’i Fishpond area has been featured in many movies, such as “Triple Frontier,” “50 First Dates,” “Tears of the Sun,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Snatched,” “You, Me and Dupree,” as well as the TV show “Lost.”  Here is a sign identifying the mosasaurus scene.

jurassicworld8

LOCATION: 49-243 Kuukama St, Kailua, HI 96734

It’s also on the banks of the Moli’i Fishpond where Owen’s bungalow and trailer set was built, though it has since been removed.  It’s worth mentioning that parts of this area can also by seen by visiting the local shops near the pond, which rent their buildings from Kualoa Ranch.  They offer tours of their own near the water for a small fee, but the Premier Movie Site Tour offered by the ranch is still our recommended way to see it.

jurassicworld9

As the boys ride a train out to the Gyrosphere area, they pass a valley where gallimimus are running alongside a vehicle.  This is a nod to the original film, where Dr. Grant and the two children run from a gallimimus stampede, which was filmed in the exact same location at Kualoa Ranch.

jurassicpark9

The mountains seen here have a railway added via CGI.

jurassicpark10

In the Jungle area of Kualoa Ranch, there is a stream that runs through, which is where the scenes of the Indominus rex attacking park security took place.  Unfortunately, their tours quickly drive past this location, so you have to be quick trying to get photos.

jurassicworld11

The set where the boys wait in line for the Gyrosphere ride also still stands at Kualoa Ranch, with a stunning backdrop looking out over the ocean.

jurassicworld12

The scenes of the boys wandering the park in the Gyroscope were filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  This is the same ranch where the brachiosaurus is first seen in the original “Jurassic Park.”  For years, the ranch remained closed to the public, proving to be one of the most elusive and sought-after locations for fans of the franchise.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time.

The scene of the boys riding around with the dinosaurs was actually a composite of a couple different areas.  This is the field they initially traverse.

jurassicworld13

LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

The filmmakers also wanted these mountains in the distance of several shots, which are in fact located in the same general area, but not from all of the specific angles seen in the film.  Visual effects were employed to place the mountains into the desired areas of the shots.

jurassicworld14

The boys then notice an area of the perimeter fence that has a gate open.  This set piece was left standing at the completion of the film, at the request of the ranch.  The gate really does open and it’s heavier than you might expect.

jurassicworld15

Here is a wider view of the full set piece.

jurassicworld16

This is the view of the other side of the gate, where the boys look down.  There is also a reverse shot looking back up towards the open fence at the Gyrosphere.  This trail was made specifically for the film, to allow in equipment and crew and achieve the desired shots.  The tour itself does not go down this trail, but guests are allowed to walk up on foot and take a closer look, if they’re so inclined.

jurassicworld17

As Claire and Owen go searching for the boys, they encounter a dying apatosaurus, which had the misfortune of encountering the Indominus rex.  This was also filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch.

jurassicworld18

They then discover more dead dinosaurs lying scattered across this hill, realizing the Indominus is killing for sport.

jurassicworld19

In the closing shot of the film, the T-rex emerges from this area onto the helicopter pad, back at Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.

jurassicworld20

Here is one of the vehicles seen in the film.  It was actually owned by Kualoa Ranch prior to production. When the filmmakers saw it, they asked to use it in the film.

jurassicworld21

If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, we highly recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu. Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from not only this film, but the original “Jurassic Park” as well. As a reminder, these are private ranches closed to the general public for unauthorized experiences. Please do not trespass. The only way to see them is by booking a tour.

Related articles: Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg’s classic 1993 film “Jurassic Park” takes place on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, supposedly near Costa Rica.  The real locations were filmed mostly in Hawaii, on the islands of Kauaʻi, O’ahu and Maui, with some additional scenes filmed on studio lots near Hollywood, California.

Early in the film, Nedry, played by Wayne Knight, meets Dodgson at an outdoor dining area, supposedly located in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The real location is just off the Kuhio Highway in Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi.  There are numerous food trucks there where motorists can stop and enjoy local food.  This is the spot where Dodgson first arrives by the side of the road.

jurassicpark1

LOCATION: 4-1620 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

This is the general area where Nedry and Dodgson sit and discuss plans to steal dinosaur DNA from InGen and sell it to a rival company.  As you can see, the area has changed a little bit.  While there are tables you can sit and eat, they are closer to the road at the food trucks.  In the film, the two sit further back near the palm trees.

jurassicpark2

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is of course the first dinosaur sighting.  For years, it also remained one of the most elusive locations to fans.  The brachiosaurus encounter was filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  The land is a private ranch for horse, sheep and cattle.  For decades, it did not offer tours of any kind and only a select few ever made it onto the property.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time, including a tour dedicated to filming locations around the ranch.  Besides the original film, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic Park III” and “Jurassic World” also filmed at the ranch.

Here is where Hammond (Richard Attenborough) rides with Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie (Laura Dern) and Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the Jeeps, as they first approach a hill towards the brachiosaurus.

jurassicpark3

LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

The vehicles continue driving past this row of trees.

jurassicpark4

Here is the exact spot where they first see the brachiosaurus.  It is eating from the tree on the right.  As iconic as this scene is, the ranch itself is so vast, it would be quite easy to miss if you didn’t know the general vicinity.  However, once you’re there, if you know the film, it’s very identifiable.

jurassicpark5

As Grant sits on the ground bewildered by what he’s just seen, he looks the opposite direction and sees a herd of dinosaurs at a lake.  This is made to appear as if it’s right near the trees where the first brachiosaurus is seen, but in reality is a completely different part of the ranch.  Visual effects were used to composite the actors into the shot, to appear to be overlooking the lake.

This was filmed at the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir, located on the ranch.  After a breach of the nearby Ka Loko Reservoir in 2006, located about 2 miles east of the ranch, the owners decided to decommission the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir in 2009 and downsize it into a lake.  This is how it appears now.

jurassicpark6

If you get a chance to visit Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi, we certainly encourage you to do so if you’re a fan of the film.  There are other, very recognizable locations from the other “Jurassic Park” films to be seen there as well.  The staff is very friendly and welcoming to photography and video and eager for fan input on how to improve the experience.  With the ranch now open to tours, it will likely grow as a tourist hot spot in the years to come.

Later in the film, a storm arrives on the island, which was filmed at Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauaʻi.  The very real Hurricane Iniki hit Kauaʻi during filming in 1992.  Spielberg and the cast were safely holed up at the Marriott Resort in Lihue when the hurricane struck.  The hurricane resulted in many scenes initially planned for filming in Kauaʻi to be shifted to O’ahu, as well as the studio lots in California.  However, they managed to use footage of the actual hurricane in the film, taken at the hotel looking out over the harbor.  If you don’t want to visit the hotel, there is a nearby park, from which the harbor can also be seen pretty well.

jurassicpark7

LOCATION: Nawiliwili Harbor, Lihue, HI 96766 (seen near 3610 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766)

The T-rex attack was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California, on their tallest sound stage.  The T-rex chasing Malcolm and Ellie was originally intended to be shot in Kauaʻi, however.  Due to the hurricane, this scene was also shifted to the Warner lot and can sometimes be seen on their studio tours, depending on the production schedules around the lot.

jurassicpark8

LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Perhaps the most widely known location for this film is Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  The Gallimimus stampede, with Grant and the two children, was not initially intended to be filmed at Kualoa Ranch.  Instead it was meant to be another location in Kauaʻi.  Kualoa was a replacement location, due to the hurricane.  Here is the main valley at the ranch, where the stampede takes place.

jurassicpark9

LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Another view where Grant and the children are running.

jurassicpark10

The ranch still has a small piece of the original fallen tree they hide behind as the T-rex hunts and eats the Gallimimus.  They added a sign for the film and it has since become the most popular photo location on the ranch.  It’s right next to the main tour trail, so it’s very easy to access.

jurassicpark12

These mountains were seen in the background as Grant and the kids hide and watch the T-rex.

jurassicpark11

While “Jurassic Park” was not the first movie to film at Kualoa, it certainly became the most famous.  After this film, countless other films, TV shows, commercials and music videos began filming on the ranch, bringing with it quite a lot of tourism.  The ranch has so many filming locations, it’s almost like a studio tour.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, many of which are not film related.  While the locations from this film can be seen on quite a few of the tours, we recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from other films that are only seen on that particular tour.

If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, there are quite a few “Jurassic Park” locations to be seen.  Some are quite a challenge to visit, however, involving hiking or private helicopter rides as the only way to reach them.  For the casual fan, we recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from multiple different “Jurassic Park” films.  As a reminder, these are private ranches closed to the general public for unauthorized experiences.  Please do not trespass.  The only way to see them is by booking a tour.

Related articles: Jurassic World (2015)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 romantic drama, much like his previous films, was shot largely around the Valley, north of Los Angeles, where the filmmaker grew up.  However, some key sequences also took place in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The film begins at Eckhart Auto Body in Chatsworth, CA, where Barry, played by Adam Sandler, houses his offices.

punch1

LOCATION: 10101 Canoga Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311

The view when Lena, played by Emily Watson, approaches and introduces herself.

punch2

Standing at the driveway, looking to your left out onto Canoga Ave., you’ll see the spot where the car crashes at the beginning of the film.

punch3

At the driveway entrance is where the harpsichord is dropped off.

punch4

Perhaps the film’s most iconic location and the one immortalized on the movie poster is far away from Southern California, on the beaches of Waikiki, Hawaii.  The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is where Adam Sandler and Emily Watson embrace for their kiss, with the backdrop of Waikiki behind them.  Despite being a fairly upscale resort, access to the lobby is easily available to the general public.  If you’re coming from Kalakaua Ave., the hotel is behind a large shopping plaza and housed on the beaches, right next to the Sheraton.  Entry from the beach is also possible.  Just make your way to the Mai Tai Bar of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (same address as the hotel itself, only facing on the beach), which is where Barry and Lena enjoy a meal together in the film, with the band singing and the beautiful Diamond Head peak in the background at sunset.  From there you can easily see and enter the hotel lobby where the pair kiss.  We’ve opted to exclude photos of the Mai Tar Bar here, because the layout has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.  There is no band performing at the real beach restaurant, in case you had your hopes up for that.  It was added by the production.  Just do a quick google search if you’re looking for pictures of Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach or the Mai Tai Bar (just make sure it’s the Royal Hawaiian one, as Honolulu has a couple other bars by the same name).

punch5

LOCATION: Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 2259 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815

Back in California, Barry and Lana have dinner at this table at Le Petit Chateau in North Hollywood.  The specific table can be found through the main entrance, on the opposite side of the wall.  There is a painting and plaque on the wall above the center of the table.

punch9

LOCATION: Le Petit Chateau, 4615 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

Barry excuses himself to the bathroom, where he quickly proceeds to destroy it, after Lana repeats an embarrassing story about him that his sister told her.  The scene really was filmed inside the actual restaurant’s bathroom, which has changed only slightly since filming.

punch11

Barry is confronted by a staff member here and subsequently gets kicked out of the restaurant for destroying their bathroom.

punch10jpg

Barry and Lana make their way out of the restaurant through this entrance way.

punch12

The couple then walks out of the restaurant, which is seen in a night shot.

punch13

Elsewhere in the the Valley, in Sherman Oaks, you’ll find Barry’s apartment.

punch6

LOCATION: 14926 Moorpark St., Sherman Oaks 91403

The reverse view out onto Moorpark St. is where Philip Seymour Hoffman’s thugs crash into Barry and Lana’s car.

punch7

Near the end of the film, Barry supposedly travels to Utah to confront Dean Trumbell at his mattress store.  The real building can be found in Pamona.

punchdrunklove14

LOCATION: 390 W Foothill Blvd, Pomona, CA 91767

Last, but not least, we leave you with a quick shot of Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler discussing the film.

punch8

Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

Dog The Bounty Hunter

A bit removed from the touristy beaches of Honolulu, on the outskirts of downtown, you could find the HQ of Dog The Bounty Hunter.  The offices and front window remained nearly identical to how they appeared on the show until January 2019, when new owners purchased the building. It is sadly now set for demolition and redevelopment.

dog1

LOCATION: 1381 Queen Emma St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Literally right around the corner, just a few steps down on Vineyard St, you could find the Dog the Bounty Hunter gift shop, which housed more Dog apparel than you knew existed. This too closed in January 2019 and is set for demolition.

dog2

LOCATION: 203 S Vineyard St, Honolulu, HI 96813

The Descendants (2011)

Most of Alexander Payne’s 2011 film, The Descendants, was shot around the island of Oahu, Hawaii, although some filming did take place on Kauai and the Big Island.

Matt King, played by George Clooney, lives at this house, tucked away in the Nu’uanu neighborhood of Honolulu.  The house is not fully visible from the street.  You’ll need to walk down a little, unmarked road (connected with Gartley Place) that leads to a few houses, in order to get a clear view.  The Descendants house is the first on the left and the one closest to Old Pali Road.  Just across the street of Old Pali Road is the Clarence H. Cooke Residence, seen in the film “Triple Frontier.”

descendants1

LOCATION: 3849 Old Pali Road, Honolulu, HI, 96817

Located just down the street from the above house is the corner where George Clooney frantically runs in his sandals over to his friends’ house, The Mitchells, after hearing of some distressing news.

descendants2

LOCATION: The fork in the road of Old Pali Road / Nu’uanu Pali Dr., Honolulu, HI, 96817

The Mitchell’s house.  The view, again, is slightly obstructed from the road, due to the many trees and plants on the property.

descendants3

LOCATION: 155 Dowsett Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817

The goat seen in the film, Poppy, is a real goat that actually lives at the location.  It is still alive and well today.

descendants4

Brian Speer’s house.

descendants5

LOCATION: 4328 Papu Circle, Honolulu, HI, 96816

Late in the film, Matt and Alex go to Brian Speer’s vacation home to confront him.  This was filmed on the island of Kaia’i.  It really is a vacation property and can be seen from Waioli Beach Park, albeit by looking between the shrubs.  It’s worth mentioning that Waioli Beach Park is an excellent beach and well worth going out of your way to visit.

thedescendants6

LOCATION: 5032 Weke Rd, Hanalei, HI 96714

The islands of O’ahu and Kaua’i is beautiful, with many amazing sights to see.  Most of these film locations are tucked away from the more touristy areas.  One upside, due to the islands being so small, is that all of these locations are pretty close to one another and can be visited in a short span of time, as not to distract you too much from the other amazing sights the islands have to offer.